In the past few years the enthusiasm and programming surrounding March 8 has expanded in exciting ways.  No doubt due to the response to #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #NeverAgain movements, the plans for this year’s International Women’s Day have felt even more exciting.  The theme this year is #PressforProgress – and there is already plenty of momentum to challenge stereotypes and bias, forge positive visibility of women, and celebrate women’s achievements.

Each year celebrations surrounding International Women’s Day get bigger and bigger – with demonstrations, special events, art installations, and concerts, with notable events occurring throughout the world.

Increasingly orchestras are embracing not only March as Women’s History Month but March 8 as International Women’s Day to showcase works by women composers. We’ve compiled a roundup of how you can appreciate works by women composers in the days to come!

Several events have already taken place, including:

  • Community Women’s Orchestra – Oakland, California, which performed Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Overture and Amy Beach’s Bal Masqué.
  • Aurora Chorus in Portland, Oregon, which presented its fifth annual International Women’s Day concert.

In the days to come:

  • Royal College of Music – London, UK, which will present works by Pauline Viardot, Clara Schumann, Lili and Nadia Boulanger,Thea Musgrave, Elizabeth Maconchy, Liza Lehmann, and Judith Weir.
  • The BBC Concert Orchestra – London, UK, which will perform live on BBC Radio 3 works by Leokadiya Kashperova, Marianna Martines, Florence B Price, Augusta Holmès and Johanna Müller-Hermann.  You can listen to the live stream here (the concert is at 7:30 PM GMT, which is 2:30 PM in U.S.A. Eastern time), and the broadcast will be available here
  • The BBC also has a lunchtime concert (at 1 PM GMT) which features mostly new music selected from hundred of submissions.  Again it will be live-streamed.  Details are available here, and it will be available on that page for listening, for at least several weeks.
  • Women Who Score – Seattle, Washington, will perform chamber works by Amy Beach, Clara Schumann, Louise Farrenc, and Libby Larsen.

But there are also plenty of places to listen online, even if you don’t find yourself close to an event.

Second Inversion will be presenting a streaming marathon of works by women composers throughout the day on March 8.

In addition to the two live broadcast concerts, BBC Radio 3 has curated an impressive collection of articles and music in celebration of women composers.

The New Classical FM will feature works by women each night this week.

Cape Cod Radio, WOMR, will feature a range of programming – including world music and classical music, interviews, and more.

The Spotify community has curated many great playlists of works by women composers – a search for “women composers” produces dozens of playlists and albums.  I’ve included a few notable ones below:

As we #PressforProgress this International Women’s Day – and EVERY day – encourage your favorite ensembles and radio stations to include works by women composers in regular programming!  And We at WPA are always happy to help ensembles with advice and information — and our grant program will be back in the fall!